The new Premier League season is finally upon us! Time to preview the 2016-17 campaign!
It seems the two Manchester clubs will battle for the English football crown this season. Manchester City have Pep Guardiola to coach them and made a couple of excellent signings this summer. Ilkay Gundogan could be gold in City’s midfield, while Leroy Sane adds pace and creativity, and John Stones is made to play in a Guadriola-led team due to his great feet.
But can the Citizens play Guardiola football? That’s the big question for them going into the season with an already established squad. Kevin De Bruyne looks to be the main candidate for the Player of the Season award, if City can grasp the teachings of their coach. Which would also make them the first favourite to win the Premier League title.
However, Jose Mourinho and Manchester United will have their say about that. The Red Devils had the best summer of any Premier League team, luring in three stars: Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Paul Pogba, and Henrikh Mkhitaryan. They covered almost every weakness with their transfers: goal scoring, creativity, and midfield stability. United’s defence remains shaky with the likes of Chris Smalling and Daley Blind, giving the Citizens a slight edge over their city rivals.
Chelsea will be keen to set straight their bad season from last year, when they finished in tenth place. New coach Antonio Conte is the ultimate team builder and motivator, meaning the Blues better perform at the highest level again. This is almost the same squad that won the 2014-15 title with eight points clear of Man City, and Chelsea have added N’Golo Kante and Michy Batshuayi so far this summer. Look for the Blues to battle City and United, but eventually finish third.
Tottenham will be around as well, with their talented young core in addition to a set of veteran players. The Spurs boost the best defense in England, while they can be very exciting to watch on offence. But can they handle the pressure? Arsenal will be lucky to make the top four, and thus the Champions League. The Gunners have so far only added Granit Xhaka and deploy the same team that suffers from the ocassional dips in form.
Battle for sixth
Three teams will battle for the sixth spot this season. Liverpool had a decent summer by adding the likes of Georginio Wijnaldum, Sadio Mane and Joel Matip. In addition, Jurgen Klopp will be in charge of the Reds from the start of the season. However, Liverpool aren’t at the level of the five teams mentioned earlier and are primed to finish sixth.
Liverpool ahead of Leicester City, the defending champions? It could be. The Foxes have only lost Kante to Chelsea, while holding on to Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez, and adding Ahmed Musa. Leicester should be fine but playing like the defending champions is different. West Ham are ambitious and have a positive vibe. They’re squad is strong but just not strong enough to win a European ticket again.
It’s pretty obvious Hull City and Burnley will be relegated after just one season in the Premier League. Both teams have done nothing on the transfer market and boost too little talent, experience and difference makers to survive the English top flight.
Swansea City, West Brom and Bournemouth will battle to determine who the third team will be that relegates. West Brom seem to have enough experience and defensive power in order to survive, making it a battle between the Swans and the Cherries. Swansea have added some offensive power but look very vulnerable. However, Bournemouth look primed to go down.